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  • Writer's pictureAngie

Locked Down but Not Out

Updated: Mar 27, 2021

So much has been happening these last few months with the Corona Viris pandemic and these were months for which we had so many plans. 2020 really did look like it was going to be our busiest year ever. We locked down Barker Street Community Centre relatively early and, as disappointed as our groups were, everyone understood and agreed it was the sensible thing to do as the outlook did seem quite bleak.

However OL1-Oldham as a group has kept itself together with regular news bulletins to replace our weekly meetings and the Bread and Butter Thing project has sucessfully, and safely, continued to be delivered each Thursday by OL1-Oldham volunteers from outside the centre. We even beat the supermarkets by adding 2m distance markers for our qeues to adhere to!

During the centre's lockdown we have continued to ensure its security and safety with regular patrols and inspections, as well as completing a deep clean of the carpets, windows and all soft furnishings. Hard services have been regularly sanitised and water checks continue to be carried out by a professional, external company.

This old but well loved centre is bearing up well, and is probably enjoying a bit of a breather from the weekly hoards that pass through her doors. Thankfully the weather has not seen the usual leaks from the roof happening, and we are assured by First Choice Homes Oldham, who own the building, that this problem is will be completely rectified by replacing the old roof in the not too distant future.

Perhaps the saddest thing is that our micro-meadow is not able to be shared by all our communities this year. It is now in full bloom and the wildflowers are even more beautiful than last year. The meadow is still being lovingly maintaied by individual members of the Eco-group who ensure it is regularly watered and tended.

The wildlife certainly seem to have been making the most of their quiet surroundings. The Bug Hotel we made last year is now almost at full occupancy, with Spider Polizzi rating it a five star establishment!

Of course everyone loves our squirrel family and I'm delighted to announce that back in early May, our lovely OL1y gave birth to no less than four kittens. Mother and kits are thriving and no wonder. They have been continually spoiled rotten with fruit and nuts and lots of fresh clean water by yours truly and have by return the favour by keeping me thoroughly entertained during my frequent visits.

OL1-Oldham is so grateful to our groups and partners for their continued support throughout this horrible pandemic and non more than our truly amazing NHS and care workers - Thank you all so very much.

We really do hope that you'll once again soon be able to join us at Barker Street Community Centre and get involved with some of the great events and projects we are currently busy planning. It really could still be a great year. Until then take care of each other, act responsibly and continue to love where you live.

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